Mammoth 225-pound halibut caught near Sequim

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SEATTLE — The halibut fishery in the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca ended Friday on a high note for three Everett anglers.

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Woody Woods caught this behemoth near Sequim on Friday.

Woody Woods, 71, and his two fishing partners, Ted Measor and Pat Vaughn, were fishing the deep waters off Dungeness Spit just west of Sequim. The three anglers had already hooked two nice halibut.At about 11 a.m., Woods, who was fishing in 430 feet near the yellow buoy off the Spit, hooked into something giant.

“I thought it was a rock (on the bottom) but a rock doesn’t take out line,” said Woods, who used salmon and tuna bellies for bait with a 32-ounce lead weight.

“I got the fish up to about 100 feet and then it took off, and I tugged and cranked, and tugged and cranked,” Woods said.

After a 30- to 45-minute battle, Woods managed to get the monster halibut up to the boat. It was 75 inches long and had a 12-inch thick belly. Its estimated weight was 225 pounds.

“It was a team effort, and I was glad to see the fish and get it inside the boat,” Woods said. “It was a great day.”

Woods’ fish bested the other huge halibut caught May 3 in the eastern Strait by Ryley Fee of Woodinville — that one weighed 180 pounds.

The eastern Strait, La Push, Neah Bay, San Juan Islands, eastside of Whidbey Island, northern Puget Sound and central Puget Sound are now closed for halibut. The only ocean area still open for halibut is the southern coast off Ilwaco, where fishing is allowed Fridays to Sundays only.

The western Strait of Juan de Fuca off Sekiu is open June 8 only.

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